On a cross-country visit to the U.S., Finnish Prime Minister Matt Vanhanen dropped by Microsoft this morning to visit the Microsoft home of the future.
Vanhanen was escorted through the mock-up home as a cellphone operated the home’s lights and RFID tags identified a bag a flour and a food processor on the counter.
The visit also included announcement of a partnership by Vanhanen and Bill Gates, who said Microsoft will provide Windows Live services to kids kindergarten through 12th grade in Finland.
The program, called Live@edu, is a customizable application that allows schools to add content and decide what to do with the traditional advertising spots. It provides free space on Microsoft servers.
The partnership builds off of a small presence by Microsoft in Finland. An office, founded in 1992, is staffed by at least 250 employees.
Sounds like the services will go over well. Microsoft says 480,000 people in Finland under age 18 use Windows Live Messenger. A million people of all ages use Hotmail.
That’s in a country of 5.2 million people.